Iran has a long history of creating chaos in the Middle East with no regard for the consequences. The United States first imposed sanctions on them in 1979 as a result of the Iran Hostage Crisis, where they held 52 Americans hostage for 444 days. Since that incident, we have repeatedly used sanctions on Iran to deter them from developing nuclear weapons, dissuade other countries from economically enriching their leaders, and prevent the spread of their negative influence throughout the region.

In 2015, former President Obama put the United States into the Iran Nuclear Deal, which required Iran to halt their nuclear weapons program. In exchange, all international sanctions against them were lifted. This was a bad deal for America and our allies because it only emboldened the Iranian regime to secretly continue down the path it was already headed: the development of nuclear weapons and state-sponsored terrorism across the globe.

President Trump pulled the U.S. out of the Iran Nuclear Deal last year and reinstated sanctions against them. These sanctions were directed at Iran’s energy, petrochemical, and financial industries, which are critical to Iran’s economy. President Trump’s maximum pressure tactics have had a clear impact on Iran’s economy and reduced its influence throughout the region. Since reinstating the sanctions, key countries such as India, Greece, Italy, Taiwan, and Turkey have stopped importing Iranian oil. Iran is feeling the pressure and we cannot let up.

Iran is the world’s largest state sponsor of terror. The nation thrives on chaos and its recent actions are a clear attempt to inject confusion and destabilize the region. We must make it clear to Iran that they cannot attack the U.S. or our allies without immediate and powerful consequences. The safety and security of the United States should always come first and I applaud President Trump for standing up to the Iranian regime.

Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.) represents the second district in the U.S. House of Representatives. He can be reached through http://mullin.house.gov, and at 3109 Azalea Park Drive, Muskogee, OK, 74401, 918-687-2533 or 202-225-2701